The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church.
The 115 cardinals under 80 years old, who can vote and can be voted for are now in Conclave. You can watch a Live Stream, mostly a shot of the Sistine Chapel chimney, who apparently is now on Twitter. You can get acquainted with the 2013 Papabili using Wikipedia's List of Papabili.
Pope Benedict XVI has announced the establishment of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture," secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of The Society of Saint Pius X, has been making news since his excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in January. On January 21, 2009, in a nearly six minute interview Williamson told a television news program in Sweden that "I believe that history is strongly against, is hugely against, six million Jews having been gassed in gas chamber as a deliberate policy" during the Holocaust. In 2001, the bishop wrote "That girls should not be in universities flows from the nature of universities and from the nature of girls: true universities are for ideas, ideas are not for true girls, so true universities are not for true girls." The Vatican is now repudiating the Holocaust denials. And Bishop Williamson has claimed he will reconsider the issue of Nazi gas chambers by reading the book of a former Holocaust doubter.
The Catholic Church is traditionally not seen as a progressive institution, but when it comes to global warming, Vatican City is aiming to become the worlds first fully carbon-neutral state, and the Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations next April to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.
BenedictXVI.com registered a few weeks ago by our very own rcade. He hedged his bets by registering six domains in all, and now is being called out for popesquatting.